Donald Trump Says He Threatened to ‘Obliterate’ Putin if He Invaded Ukraine
In a new Fox News Town Hall, former President Donald Trump has taken an aggressive posture over the Russian invasion
In a new Fox News Town Hall, former President Donald Trump has taken an aggressive posture over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The former POTUS has long claimed that if he were still in the White House, he would have prevented Russia from invading Ukraine. Until now, he’s been light on the details as to how he would have prevented it. But now we apparently have an answer: Trump told Fox host Sean Hannity that he threatened Vladimir Putin.
In the Town Hall, Hannity asked, “… you also have said that if you’re President, you can end this very quickly. How?”
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Trump responded, “yeah. If I’m President – and by the way this is a much worse position than before it started. Before it started, it was easy. He wasn’t going to do it, and I had conversations. And it was always the apple of his eye, I mean – I could see that.”
Trump continued, “But I said, ‘you’re not gonna do it. And if you do it, we’re gonna have problems like you’ve never had before.’ He understood. I said things, he said, ‘you don’t mean that.'”
Here, Trump uses an incredulous and slightly whiny voice to imitate Putin’s disbelief, adding, “I said, ‘I mean it a hundred percent.’ And he didn’t totally believe me, but he believed me ten percent. And that’s all he had to do.”
The audience got raucous over these comments, laughing as Trump continued, “He knew that there was gonna be a problem.”
At this point, Hannity interrupted, “wait, wait. You’re implying something here. You basically said, ‘I’d obliterate you.’ Is that what you said to him?”
Trump shifted uncomfortably on his chair, clarifying, “I said things that were very bad, and very nasty.” Here, the audience began laughing and cheering.
Trump continued, “Honestly, I got – and he said, ‘you don’t mean that.’ Had to do with Moscow. He said, ‘you don’t mean that.’ I said, ‘I do. I’ll never talk about it again, but I do.’ He said, ‘you don’t mean it, you don’t mean it.’ And we then went on to other subjects. But, I don’t think he believed me. But he believed me ten percent. That’s all he had to believe me.”
Trump adds, “five percent would be good enough. But I had the same conversation with President Xi about Taiwan. President Xi of China.”
Trump’s claims of having dominated the international stage is nothing new. In the past, he’s gloated about his friendships with dictators like Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
But this is the first time he’s suggested that it was a promise of “obliteration” and “nasty things” that stayed Putin’s hand from invading Ukraine during his Presidency.
Trump was notoriously disliked by some of America’s most stalwart allies while he was President, and seemed to befriend the most power-hungry foreign leaders. It’s unclear if Putin will support or refute Trump’s claim that it was a threat of violence which kept him from invading Ukraine, but Putin has troubles of his own right now that don’t involve Trump’s braggadocio.